Friday, 10 July 2015

Recipient of the Maylean Jessie Cordia Scholarship Ralph Tramm visits Germany for the ECMO Conference

Recipient of the Maylean Jessie Cordia Scholarship Mr Ralph Tramm recently attended the ECMO EURO-ELSO 4th International Congress in Germany. Mr Tramm was also supported with a Postgraduate Travel Grant and spent three days in Regenberg for the event. The theme of the conference this year was “bridge to the future”

The conference was hosted by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation (known as ELSO) and over 1000 delegates and experts attended the event to discuss and critique the most recent innovations and outcomes in the field of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for critically ill patients.

ECMO is a type of life support which supports the lungs, heart or both for an extended period of time through the use of modified machinery which can provide gas exchange and circulation. However, whilst ECMO provides lifesaving support to patients who cannot breathe for themselves, there are consequences. As a result, ECMO recipients can face physical and mental consequences in this process.

The ECMO EURO-ELSO conference featured a “Best Abstracts” portion. Over 150 abstracts are submitted with only 18 being chosen to be featured in various sessions. Ralph Tramm’s abstract was chosen to be featured in one of these sessions. His presentation was titled “’Back to the future? Health trajectory in ECMO survivors over time’’ Tramm’s presentation discussed the various outcomes out of a prospective observational study, exploring both mental and physical health outcomes in survivors who were supported by ECMO at various stages; three, six and twelve months after being discharged from the hospital.

The results indicated over time, physical and mental deficiencies eased. However, psychiatric risk factors and an irregular pattern of health deficiencies were still high at twelve months post discharge. It was also noted that only half of the participants in the young cohort could score normal results in tests for cognitive functioning. However, it stated that there were many factors involved and further validation of findings is required.

Mr Tramm found the conference to be a phenomenal success and that through attending; he was able to connect with various experts from areas such as Germany, France, England and Sweden, indicating scope for possible future collaborations. He states that as a result, his possible next steps for post –doctorate career include a fellowship with an EU exchange.

Mr Tramm gives his warmest thanks to the ACN to supporting him on this significant career step during his PhD candidature.

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